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Billy Currington takes upbeat tunes on tour

His latest album focuses on bright songs.

Many modern country artists thrive on songs of heartache and loss, and Billy Currington — performing at Hobart Arena in Troy on Saturday — has certainly delved into that territory on occasion during his decade-plus career.

However, for his last two albums, the Nashville-based Georgia native has focused on bright songs with upbeat topics. This approach has clicked with fans and earned him comparisons to acoustic rockers such as Jimmy Buffett and Jack Johnson.

“Hey Girl,” the first single from his latest album, “We Are Tonight,” was his seventh No. 1 country hit, and reached the top in late 2013 with limited live performing. Although “We Are Tonight” was released in September 2013, Currington chose not to immediately support the album with an extended tour. That’s about to change, as he and his band recently hit the road for seven months of serious touring.

“Yeah, we’re getting out there now,” Billy Currington said, speaking over his cell phone from a road date in Minnesota. “We decided to take some time off and then start supporting the album in the spring. I think the tour goes until October. We’ll be playing music and promoting the album at concerts, fairs and festivals.”

“We Are Tonight,” the second single from the album of the same name, has received a boost from the touring. The song recently jumped up four spots to No. 25 on the country singles chart.

“The response to the new single has been going great,” Currington said. “If it’s any different, no one has told me. I see it creeping up the charts and still moving in the right direction. I can tell the fans are hearing it from their radio stations before we get there because they’re singing it just as loud as the other songs. I can only see good things right now.”

During the tour, Currington will get many opportunities to get up close with concertgoers. Unlike some forms of music, the country genre is very fan-friendly, and he’s no exception. His Facebook page is filled with photos of the 40-year-old singer posing with gleeful fans during soundcheck fan parties and other events.

“We do a lot of meet-and-greets, fan appreciation parties and all that kind of stuff throughout the year,” Currington said. “I’ve heard other genres of music don’t do it quite as much, but I wouldn’t know any different. Ever since I started my career that has been the norm, and I really enjoy meeting the fans. They’re always awesome. They’re just the best people.”

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